Monday, December 9, 2013

Blog Post # 16 Final Reflection


Part 1

When I started this class, I was overwhelmed by all the new things I was going to be introduced to. In my first blog post, I wrote about keeping the basics utilized in my classroom. When I said basics, I was mainly talking about paper, pencils, textbooks, chalkboards, and whiteboards. I am amazed at how far my opinion has changed throughout the process of this course. For instance, I wanted my students to complete a report using no technology, I do think that I will assign this once. I just want them to know how to research topics and find the correct information using an encyclopedia or text based source. I have enjoyed learning all the knew items like podcasting, blogging, PBL, and video journals. I will be implementing all of these technology based learning tools into my classroom. I will definitely have a Project Based classroom. I can barely wait to use these tools in my class. I am very interested in keeping a class blog. Maybe one day, I will be the teacher of a class with a blog that future EDM310 students have to comment on for their weekly C4K's. I want to keep my students up to date with the technology as it becomes available. I do not want them to be like myself, 26, just now learning these methods and tools. I think we should stay up to date with the technologies. They are constantly changing and soon will be taking over the world. Technology helps to engage students in many creative ways. I believe that they will learn more while interacting on computers and iPads than they would just reading from their text books. I definitely have changed my opinion from blog post 1 and I hope that I can make learning fun for my students! I can't wait to put my technology knowledge to use in my classroom! Thank you, Dr. Strange, for all of the "overwhelming" assignments! Part 2

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Blog Post # 15

by: Shanda Thornton

applelaptopIn this video, a mother of a blind child is learning how to use the iPad like her visually impaired child. These iPads are using voice over so that a blind child can hear what he or she is looking at. I think this is an amazing invention for these children, it gives them the opportunity to do normal things that other students are doing. The mother was listening to the directions of the teacher and went step by step to learn to navigate around the iPad apps. The teacher would direct the mother to go to the top left hand side of the iPad and then move her finger along the top until she found what she was looking for. They even demonstrated writing a note. There are two modes to type using the notes part. You could use either standard typing where you touch any letter and double tap it to choose that letter  or  touch typing mode which means that you could hold it down and tap it and choose that letter. These inventions are very helpful for visually impaired people. They showed how to move your hands and fingers to access the apps that you were looking for. It is very important to know how many fingers and which way to slide to be able to properly use this voice over app.  The picture shows one way that you have to move your fingers to choose a menu option.

By. Chastity Westry
    This video provided several ideas for a teacher to think about when using assistive technologies for vision and hearing impaired students. As a teacher or parent, we should enhance learning, remove barriers, push boundaries, give hope, and challenge the way we think. It also showed different tools and programs to use with a vision and hearing impaired student. One tool that I thought was interesting was the Go Talk device. The Go Talk device are battery powered augmentative communication devices. They are used by people who can not communicate well by speaking. For example, a classmate, teacher, friend, sibling, etc. can record any message the user will normally need in any accent or language. Next, an overlay of pictures will be constructed. The pictures are to help the users remember where each message is located. The user can use this device to communicate with people by just pressing whatever message/picture they want to deliver. According to Spectronics, typical messages on a Go Talk device would be as simple as: “Hello, it’s nice to see you?”, “I need help.”, “I am all done.”, and “I need to use the bathroom.”. Go Talks are used by people all around the world. Children with down syndrome, autism, or any condition that limits speech uses the Go Talk device as an assistive technology for hearing. These devices are not only used by children. Adolescents and adults who have head injuries or stroke. It was said in this video that one in 2500 Australian children have a vision impairment and on average, one Australian child is identified with impaired hearing everyday. As teachers/educators we need to learn more about assistive technologies for children with disabilities in the classroom. I feel as if the
Usage for the Blind
By: Victoria Williams

_ipadIn this assignment I was assigned to watch a video where Wasley Majerus is demonstrating the use of the ipad for the visually impaired. The voice over is a wonderful asset to the ipad. This is a screen access package and allows the ipad to talk to the person that is using it. It will call out everything that
is on the screen. A useful application for the ipad is the ibook. The ibook is a mainstream ereader. In this application the visually impaired may access the library and then choose the book they are wanting to be read to them. After choosing the book, the chapter may be read to them aloud. Another unique thing about this application is that the illustration will be described. In the application itunesU, it is also made very easy to navigate through the music. All of these applications are made possible through the ipads voice over.

As an education major, this video has brought to my attention the importance of technology and special programs for the visually impaired. I did some research for some online resources for the visually impaired and I was able to find useful information on: This website took me to a website that gave special quest games to reinforce learning through math, science, and technology. This website is known as These websites could be bookmarked onto an ipad for easy access or bookmarked onto a classroom computed for easy access. This way even if resources such as ipads are not supplied at your school these links could also be useful for helping teach children of the blind.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Blog Post # 14

I plan on teaching 4th-6th grade. My project is going to be self awareness. I want to teach my students to be aware of themselves and also empower them to realize their own potential to effect positive change in the world. I am going to have my students create a website in which they do a number of things. 1. They are to describe themselves. 2. I want them to tell me their dreams. 3. They will write me a story on how they could/would change the world into a better place. 4. Share their page on our class blog. 5. A picture of themselves. 6. A quote that describes them to everyone 7. each student will think of one thing for all students in the class to add to their website. Ex: class picture, family photo, favorite sports team, etc. 8. Decorate their page to show personality. This is an example. This is just some of the requirements, but it shows a start to the assignment.


For my PLN, I added many helpful sites that I visit often. I have everything from shopping sites to textbook sites and many things in between! I tried to share my whole PLN, but couldn't figure out how, so I am just leaving the link to it! I left a few empty to add later on as I find more helpful sites to use as an educator!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Project # 12B Smartboard Lesson Plan

C4T # 4

C4T #1 The purpose of the English major Mary gives a link in her blog post for us to read an article written by a college professor who made her think about her job as an English Educator, more specifically a teacher of thinking and communicating. She says she normally groans at articles from professors who talk about kids not knowing how to do something. Her opening quote was, "STUDYING the humanities should be like standing among colleagues and students on the open deck of a ship moving along the endless coastline of human experience. Instead, now if feels as though people have retreated to tiny cabins in the bowels of the ship, from which they peep out on a small fragment of what may be a coastline or a fog bank of a spouting whale." This is the link to the article The Decline and Fall of the English Major – The New York Times Response to C4T #1 In response to this blog post, I told Mary, who I was and what brought me to her blog. I let her know that I enjoyed reading her post and the link that she left in it. I also told her that I think it is very important for English teachers to be the best teachers a student has. It is important on so many levels to do well in English. It is a big part of the day to day lives of students. It is sad to see a student who doesn't have a teacher that is up to par. I added that students need great teachers starting with kindergarten on. Those teachers should teach and correct them all the way through to the best of their ability. I ended with, Thanks for sharing. C4T # 2 On this blog post, Mary talks about firstly not knowing what to do with her time since she has finished her masters degree. She says it is odd to be able to sit down and wipe the dust off a book that has been on her book shelf for some time piquing her curiosity. She is only in the first chapter, but has already been provoked by Ray to think about how much I let my students see of my "human side." She is discussing the human side of writing, the feelings that are evoked during the writing process, and how important it is to let students see this. This made her think of showing your human side while teaching, in general. In her first real teaching job, she didn't let students see her teaching side. She was told how important it was to be strict and not make friends with students and to wear high-heels because she was smaller than the students. She took on a persona that smiled and welcomed students to her room, but that didn't warm up to them in fear of letting them get too close. She kept her guard of because of how she was advised. She says that her students saw straight through it and could feel the burn of the suspicion. They could tell she wasn't being honest with them about who she was and to this day she regrets how she acted. She is not the strict teacher that she was told she should have been. She is fair and has high expectations. She doesn't hide her quirky personality like she did the first year she taught. She says that since she hid herself from her first class, she never connected with them. Now, she has deeper connections with her students. They know about her personal life and she closes with, "I’ve revealed my human side in an appropriate way without compromising my professionalism and I am a better teacher – and person – because of it." In response to the second C4T: I thanked Mary for this post, because I believe it was helpful to hear what she had to say. It is always great to listen to an educator and their point of view. Especially since we have no experience as of now. I told her I believed that teachers should get to know their students and to be themselves in the classroom. She mention that her first year students could tell she wasn't being honest with them or being who she actually was. I think that is a grey area that each teacher will deal with at some point or another, normally their first year. If we can't be ourselves while teaching are we teaching our students to not be themselves? I went on to tell her that I am a substitute teacher and that I do believe there is a difference in the ages of students. I told her I think that in older levels you may should keep an understanding of, "I am the teacher- not your friend." This goes especially for younger first year teachers. I believe in doing this there will be a mutual respect earned in the classroom.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

November C4K

For my first C4K of November, I was assigned to Ava. Her class was having a writing test, and she posted a story. I thought it was rather interesting so I copied and pasted it to this post so you all could see it too! I am not sure how writing test work, I think she may have made this story up herself or she could possibly be retelling a story she was read for her test. She did a great job for her age! This is her story:

-  There once was a boy his name was Josh, he is 10 years old and he lived on a farm. Josh called for his dad, but there was no answer. Then he called for his dad again, but still no answer, then he heard a whisper saying ‘‘help me sonnnnnn,” then it was gone. That night he had a dream that his dad pulled a prank on him, and hissed “that there are no such things as ghost.” But josh yelled “ where have you been,” then his dad was gone. Josh ran and ran and ran till he woke up. the next day, josh heard someone laughing in the attic. So he walked up the ladder, and saw his dad laughing. Josh said “where have you been i have been looking all over for you i thought you were died, ” and his dad said “ it was a prank.” THE END

For my response to Ava's post I explained to her who I was and that I was a student at the University of South Alabama. I told her that South was located in the United States and was in Mobile Alabama. I told her that I was hopefully going to be a fifth grade teacher when I graduate. I explained to her about EDM310 and the process we follow for our C4K's and explained that is how I found her blog! I told her that I enjoyed her story, and asked her did she make the story up herself? I told her that it was very creative. I went on to tell her that I liked 5th grade a lot when I was a younger student. I visited her blog earlier in the week and saw a slide show she made where she posted her favorite artists and groups, I noticed she included Bruno Mars, so I had to let her know that I liked his music as well!  I wished her a great year and left my BlogSpot address just in case she wanted to visit it one day. I thanked her for her post.

For my second C4K of November I was assigned to Miriam's blog. On her most recent post, she described a piece of music which was Canon in D major. She also talks a lot about the composer of the piece. I learned a lot from her post. She said that every few months she and Sarah, her sister, learn a few violin and piano duets. The Canon in D major by Johan Pachelbell is one of her favorites. She lists a lot of facts about the composer and the actual piece of music.  She says that this piece has a lot of emotion and has a lot of  challenging parts. At the end of her blog post she adds a video of her and Sarah performing the song. That was a great touch!

In response to this blog post, I started out by saying I was a student at the University of South Alabama. I explained to her about EDM310 and the process we follow for our C4K's and explained that is how I found her blog! I then told her that both she and Sarah were incredibly talented. I really enjoyed reading her blog post because it was very informative. I told her that I loved that she added a video at the end so we could hear and see her perform! She did amazing. I told her to keep up the hard work because she was already so talented at such a young age. She also has very good writing skills and a great vocabulary. I always make sure to tell them thanks for sharing!



Blog Post # 13

by: Shanda Thornton

I chose this video strictly because of the title, and when I was listening to it, I was so glad that I did. It is really hard to summarize this video because everything he said would mean a lot to a student who is going through this struggle. So I apologize for my summary length, I cut out so much of his talk, and there is still a long post!
When Shane was a kid he hid his heart under his bed because his mother told him if he wasn’t careful someone would break it. We are told to stand up for ourselves but how can we if we don’t know who we are? We have to define ourselves at an early age, if we don’t someone else does it for us... Geek, fatty, slut, fag, etc. At the same time, we were being told who we were, we are being asked what do you want to be when you grow up. Shane says he always thought that was an unfair question. It makes us assume that we can’t be what we already are- we were kids! When Shane was a kid, he wanted to be a man, he wanted to retire with enough savings that would keep him in candy long enough to make old age sweet. When he was 8, he wanted to be a marine biologist until he saw the movie Jaws. At age 10, he was told his parents left because they didn’t want him. At age 11, he wanted to be left alone. At age 12, he wanted to die. At age 13, he wanted to kill a kid. At age 14, he was asked to seriously consider a career path. He said he’d like to be a writer, and they told him to choose something realistic, so he said a professional wrestler and they responded with, Don’t be stupid. They asked what they wanted to be and then told them what they couldn’t be . He wasn’t the only one. They were being told that they must become what we are not sacrificing what we were to inherit the masquerade of what we will be. He was being told to accept the identity that others would give him. What made my dreams so easy to dismiss? He added that granted his dreams were shy, self conscious, and overly apologetic, standing alone at the high school dance, and never being kissed they were still his dreams. He goes on to say that not only did he get called silly but his dreams got called names also, silly, foolish, impossible. He had it all figured out, he was going to be a wrestler, called the garbage man, his finishing move was going to be called the trash compactor, his phrase was going to be, “I’m taking out the trash!” A guy called the Dumpster Drusky, stole his plot. He was crushed, so he turned to poetry. This was what he loved.

The first lines of poetry he remembers writing was in response to a world that demanded that he hates himself, from 15-18 he hated himself for becoming a bully, which he loathed. He was 19 when he wrote- “I will love myself despite the ease in which I lean towards the opposite standing up for yourself, doesn’t have to mean embracing violence.” When he was 9 he traded homework assignments for friendship, he gave himself a hall pass to get through every broken promise, he gave everyone a pass for showing up late or not at all. He remembers a plan born out of frustration from a kid that called him Yogi, and would point at his stomach and say “too many picnic baskets”. One day before school he gave this kid the answers from the homework, but he wrote wrong answers down for him the night before, when the boy got his homework back he was confused to see that he didn’t do well, and he looked at Shane questioning him? Shane showed him his paper which was nearly perfect and thought to himself, “smarter than the average bear mother ******!”

He explains what his life was like and the problems he dealt with for being overweight and how letting children use their own words can cause problems. There is a very funny story but I didn’t want to extend this blog post any longer than it already is, so I encourage you to actually watch this one! The story is how he gained his first nickname, Porkchop, but through this process he was removed from his grandmother’s home by protective services because of a miscommunication dealing with in his words a bruise from his moment of realization that fat kids weren’t designed to climb trees.

He goes on and says he knows he isn’t the only kid surrounded by people who used to say the rhyme: “Sticks and stones as if broken bones hurt more than the names we got called and we got called them all. So we grew up believing no one would ever fall in love with us. That we would be lonely forever. That we would never meet someone that would make us feel like the sun is something they built for us in their tool shed so broken heart strings bled the blues and we tried to empty ourselves so we felt nothing don’t tell me that hurts less than a broken bone.” He says that the school halls were battlegrounds, they found themselves outnumbered day after day we used to stand inside for recess because outside was worse.

  We weren’t the only kids who grew up this way and still to this day kids are still being called names, causing bearded ladies, depression, and loneliness playing solitaire, spin the bottle, trying to kiss the wounded parts of ourselves and heal but at night while the others sleep. He wants to tell them that all of this is debris left over then we finally decide to smash all the things we thought we used to be an if you can’t see anything beautiful about yourself you need to buy a new mirror, look a little closer, stare a little longer, because there is something inside you that made you keep trying despite everyone who told you to quit. He goes on and explains the struggles that these kids go through throughout the school years . Shane says you have to believe that they were wrong, why else would we still be here? We grew up to cheer on the underdog because we see ourselves in them. We stem from a root planted in the belief we are not what we were called.In closing, he says our lives is just balancing acts that have less to do with pain and more to do with beauty.


by: Chastity Westry

_Kakenya Ntaiya starts off her talk telling us about a group of people in Kenya that people travel the world to go see. These people, she says, are tall, can jump high, wear red, and kill lions. These people are Maasais and she says that she is a part of them. In this culture, the boys are brought up to be boys and girls are brought up to be mothers. When she was 5, she found out that she was engaged to be married as soon as she hit puberty. Everything she did from the moment she found out was to prepare her to be a perfect wife by age 12.

She went to school, because her mother was denied an education, her mother didn’t want Kakenya and her siblings to live the life she was living. Kakenya’s father worked as a police in the city, sometimes they didn’t see him for up to two years. Whenever he came home, he would sell the cows and products they had on the farm, that her mother had worked hard to use to take care of her children, just so he could go drink with his friends. Women were not allowed to own land, so her father had “the right” to do that because he owned it. The women of the village never questioned the men’s actions or choices.

When Kakenya went to school she had a dream, she wanted to become a teacher, She said it looked as if the teacher’s were just writing on the board and that wasn’t hard work, compared to what she was doing on the farm. So she worked hard to finish school, but when she was in 8th grade, she was forced to be a part of a ceremony for girls that signyfied their becoming a woman. At this point she hit a crossroad, once she went through this tradition, she would become a wife so her dream of being a teacher wouldn’t come through. She talked to her father, she told him that she would only go through this ceremony if he let her go back to school. He agreed. On the day of the ceremony they experienced an unlikely tradition of their culture, the girls had a piece of themselves mutilated. Kakenya’s mother took care of her and 3 weeks later she was back in high school. While in school, she met a gentlemen from their village that had been to The University of Oregon, She told him she wanted to go where he went because he looked happy.

     She applied to school and was accepted, and she had to have the support of the village to be able to afford it. When the men of her village heard she had the opportunity to go to school they felt it was a lost of opportunity that should have been given to a boy. She went back to the village, they have a chief that if he says yes everyone will follow him. She asked for help and for him to support her to go to America, he said he couldn’t do it alone and gave her a list of 15 other men to help her. That worked. She arrived in America and was shocked at her findings of the land of plenty.

While in America, she learned that the ceremony that she and the others girls went through was against the law in Kenya, and that she had a right to get an education. She learned her mother had a right to own property and to not be abused. These things made her angry. She got her graduate degree, but had a constant pain for the girls in Kenya, so she went back to help. She wanted the backing of the village to support a school for the girls, they wanted a school for boys, so they did both. The sign of commitment to this project was the gift of land where they built the school for girls. In only 5 months everyone could see the change in the girls. They are making big differences in the girls. 125 girls will never be mutilated or married when they are 12 because of this school. They are instead creating and achieving their dreams. Its a new dawn ,a new beginning, happening in this school. They are giving opportunities so that they can rise and this is the tradition she brought to her community. She ended the speech with a challenge, she asked everyone to be the first leader because people will follow. Be bold, stand up, be fearless, be confident, as you change your world . If everyone does that what kind of world will we be able to leave our children?

By: Victoria Williams

_What do babies think? Babies can understand and reflect. One thing the baby probably is thinking, what in the world are those people thinking? Psychologist and Doctors think that babies can’t think and talk like we do. There was a study done on two groups of babies, they were showed a bowl of broccoli and a bowl of goldfish. The doctor would say ummm… broccoli and put it to her mouth and then say eww...goldfish. When she asked for some the 15 month babies gave her goldfish. When she repeated the same process with the 18 months they would give her the one she wanted. That is just a three month difference. That shows us that babies know more and learn more than we thought. Why do children learn so much? We have always thought that babies are full of useless knowledge, There is a relationship between how long the period of childhood experience is to having bigger brains. Long childhoods mean a child is acquiring a lot of knowledge and learning.

Unconsciously kids are using statistics to find out about the world. Scientist do experiments as do kids, in the video it shows an experiment with a little boy who has two sets of two different colored shapes and a box with a light in it, if both sets are stacked correctly the lights in the boxes will come on, the child sat there and tried many scenarios to try and get both sets stacked properly to get both lights to shine. This, she says, is quite typical. Children usually do a series of experiments to find an answer. She says, “What is it like to be a creature that can test 5 hypothesis in just a few minutes?”

Most psychologist thought that babies were barely conscious, if even conscious at all. Allison thinks the opposite. Adults think if something is important we should pay attention, they are more flexibly focused and purpose driven. Babies and young children are a lantern of consciousness. They are very good at taking in more, they are bad at not paying attention. To be like that as adults, when we are put into situations we haven’t been in before, we act like kids. It’s good to be an adult, and makes sense that we put efforts into actually making babies. Think like adults do but if what we want is to be like these babies, to have open learning, imagination, open mindedness, creativity, and innovation. Maybe at least some of the time we should spend time getting more adults to think like more children!

We apologize for our long blog post, but these are some of the most meaningful videos that we have watched this semester! We encourage you to watch each of these if not the other seven also!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Project # 15, PBL #3

Blog Post # 12

What can we learn from Sir Ken Robinson?
By:Shanda Thornton
Sir Ken Robinson starts the video by talking about two reasons that most countries are reforming public education. The first reason he talks about is economics. His driving question was, “How do we educate our children to take their place in the economies of the 21st century given that we can’t anticipate what the economy will be like at the end of next week? His second question was concerning culture. He asked, “How do we educate our children so they have a sense of cultural identity, while being a part of the process of globalization, so we can pass on cultural genes of our community ?” Sir Ken Robinson then goes on to explain problems with the reforming of public education. He says that they are trying to meet the future by doing what they did in the past. The current system of education was designed and conceived and structured for a different age in time. It was conceived in the days of the enlightenment and in the economic circumstances of the industrial revolution. Before the revolution, there were no public school systems, you could get educated if you had money to pay the Jesuits to educate you. With this new system, Public education would be paid for by taxation, and it would be available to everyone free at the point of delivery. People objected to this revolutionary idea saying it wasn’t possible for street kids to benefit from it, they’re incapable of learning to read and write so why are we spending time on this. This also causes alienation of many kids that do not see the purpose in going to school. He told us that when he went to school, they kept them there with a story. Something along the lines of Do good in school, work hard, do well in college, get a college degree and you will get a job. Our children don’t believe that, and they have a right to because there is no longer a guarantee. In today’s world you can graduate high school and get a good paying job without a college degree. It may not be a dream job, but it is good paying and that is what most people are looking for in these days. Education does not guarantee a job anymore. I really enjoyed when Sir Ken Robinson started talking about ADHD in schools. When he first gets to the subject of ADHD, he shows a map of the prescriptions for ADHD medications. This has turned into a modern epidemic. He isn’t trying to say there is no such thing as ADHD, he is saying it is not an epidemic. Our children are living in the most intensely stimulation period in the history of earth. They are over powered with information. Students are given computers, iPhones, other electronic devices, and even shown advertising and then they are penalized for being distracted from other boring things, like the teacher. Robinson says that he thinks for the most part the emphasis on ADHD has risen with the growing of standardized test. The medication these children are routinely given puts these kids to sleep. He addresses aesthetic experience which is when senses are operating at their peak anesthetic shuts your senses off and deadens the body to what is happening. We are getting our kids through education by anaesthetizing them. This is what these “drugs” called ADHD medication is doing to our kids. Sir Ken Robinson thinks we should be doing the opposite! We should be waking them up to what is inside of them! He believes the system of education is modeled on the interest of industrialization. Schools are organized on factory lines, ringing bells, separate facilities, specialized into separate subjects. We still educate students in batches. We put them in the system by age. He asks, “What is important about the assumption that the only important thing these kids have in common is their age?” Is this the most important thing? He states that if you are interested in the model of education, you don’t start from the production line mentality. It is essentially about conforming and about standardization. We have to go the opposite way. We need to use Divergent thinking. This is not the same thing as creativity. It is an essential capacity to creativity. It is the ability to think of a lot of possible answers to one single question. We all have this capacity but as we get older it mostly deteriorates. In the gene pool of education we have to think about human capacity and get over the old conception. We should recognize that much greater learning happens in groups. Collaboration is the “stuffing” of growth, if we separate them and judge them separately and form a disjunction of them and their natural learning environment. Crucially he says, it is about culture of our institution habits of institutions and the habitats that they occupy.
 By: Victoria Williams

Wow! That is the word that comes to my mind when I heard Sir Ken Robinson’s speech on education. What an amazing thought he has on No Thought Left behind and on what education is really about. When I was in grade school I always felt as if I was going through the motions. I would memorize information for test and then forget the information as soon as the test was over. I have had a hard time adjusting in the college setting because I have had never had to think outside of memorizing information. I think that we can learn from Sir Ken Robinson that to be a great teacher the teacher has to do more than just deliver information to the class. As teachers we should educate students on things that can be used outside the classroom instead of the essential facts. If educators stop treating education as if it is a mechanical system and more like it is a human system then maybe we wouldn’t need alternative education. There are three types of people in this world, there are people that are movable, people who are unmovable and people who move. The people who move are the people who make things happen and if we have more people who move than we will have an educational revolution. If educators can understand this than education will stop being dormant and bloom like Death Valley.
By. Chastity Westry
Sir Ken Robinson believes that creativity in education, today, is more important than literacy. One important idea that I learned from Mr. Robinson is that if you’re never prepared to be wrong, you will never come up with anything original. By the time children become adults, most of them have lost this capacity because they are frightened of being wrong. Today, in the 21st Century, we are running educations systems where mistakes are the worst thing a person can make. Therefore, we are educating students out of their creativity capacities. Mr. Robinson also believes that we do not grow into creativity, that we grow out of it. The education system is predicated on academic ability. The hierarchy of education is based on two ideas. The first one is the most useful subjects are at the top, this probably steered you away from subject areas in school that you actually liked and found interesting. The second idea is academic ability, which is dominating our view of intelligence. We need to change our view of intelligence. Highly educated and talented individuals do not believe they are these things because their interests weren’t valued in school. We know three things about intelligence. First, intelligence is diverse. We think visually, in movement, and abstract terms. Second, intelligence is dynamic. The third thing about intelligence is that it is distinct. Sir Ken Robinson believes that our only hope for the future is to adopt a new conception of human ecology. One in which we enrich our perception on human capacity. The way education systems are set up today will not serve us in the future. We need to rethink the fundamental principles in which we are educating our children. To conclude, we need to change our views of education and not steer students away from their interests but encourage them.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

C4T # 3

For my third C4T assignment I was assigned to Matt B Gomez! Matt is a kindergarten teacher and this is by far my favorite teacher blog I have seen. He blogs regularly and he blogs helpful things from apps that he uses in his classroom to filing methods he has discovered!!

On the first blog post that I commented on, Matt was telling us about an app that he uses in his classroom. The app's name is Popplet. It was just a short video showing us how Popplett is used and telling us that it is free but there is a more advanced version that cost a small fee a month, but there is no big difference in what you receive.

When I responded to Mr. Gomez, I started out by telling him who I was and that I was currently a junior at USA and also how I found his blog! I made sure to tell him that I thought it was awesome that he is a kindergarten teacher! I really enjoyed his video explaining Popplet! I told him that I find it very helpful to see present day teachers speaking about tools that they use inside their own classroom. I could see the visual word webs helping his students remember more things about the subject they were being taught! His video was detailed enough for me to download the app and create my own word web without any problems! I always end with thank you for sharing! I wished him a great finish to the year and left my BlogSpot address so that he could visit if he found the time!

For my second post that I commented on, Mr. Gomez told his followers about his filing system he uses in his classroom. He has his kindergarten students file away their finished work each day in file cabinets. He uses two different cabinets and half of their names are in each file. He told us that he found that multi-colored files work best because when the students open the file they see the color inside also. He teaches them to make sure the inside is the correct color so they know they are using the correct file. He says after just a quick demonstration they are able to handle using this system and it has worked well for him for many years. He says they learn to stay organized and it makes it easy on him to check their work Friday morning to see what they may need to finish for the week. The unfinished work is kept in a separate shelf which also makes it easy for them to know what they still need to finish. He adds that with this system he expects the kids to keep track of their work. On Friday mornings, he has the students bring him all of their finished work and they go through the work together. Anything that needs to be fixed would be moved to their unfinished work bucket, to be completed. As he meets with each child the class plays in imagination tubs because he thinks every Friday should start with fun and play! Usually it takes about 20 minutes to go through all of the work and then the class switches to centers to finish up the work for the week! He also adds descriptive pictures of his filing cabinets to help everyone understand what he is explaining, in case anyone was confused.

When I responded to his second blog post, I again told him who I was and how I found his blog. I told him how thankful I was that he shared this system with us! I told Mr. Gomez that I enjoy reading his blog post! I even plan on adding it to my PLN! I told him that he has some amazing ideas and methods. I also told him that I was really glad I got assigned to his blog! I added that I wasn't sure what grade I would end up teaching but I am sure this would come in handy regardless. I am so glad that he has a blog to share his work. I added that I love that he teaches his students responsibility. It is never to early to start teaching students this and I think kindergarten is a great place to begin! I left on the note of thanks again for sharing, and I look forward to looking at more of his blog posts! I do intend on using this system in my classroom, depending on which grade I start out teaching. I think this system could be used for many different grade levels.

This time I got a comment back from Mr. Gomez, and he replied, "Thanks for commenting Shanda."

Blog Post # 11

In the First Video "Little Kids Big Potential In the very beginning of this video as the a few of Ms. Kathy's students were welcoming us into their classroom, I noticed she had a sign saying "College graduating class of 2025 hanging on her door!" I absolutely love this, I have never seen anything but their High School graduating year on classroom doors at schools! I think that this is a great way of making students look even farther ahead! In the Little Kids...Big Potential video Ms. Kathy's students described their every day lives in the classroom to us. Ms. Kathy allowed her students to use their Nintendo DS as a learning tool in the classroom. That is kind of like saying, "Please pull out your iPhones and let's do our work today!" I believe that is every student's dream to hear! I believe this was one of the best ways to reach some students, not many children would complain about doing work if they were using a cool game to do it with. I bet before those student's used their DS in the classroom, they never used it as a learning tool. Ms. Kathy used many types of technology in her classroom and each of her students were very aware of how to use the tools! They used iPads, the DS, and computers. They also could make videos of what they were learning, collaboratively I might add! These students also blogged and commented on other blogs. I am 26 and I know I have said this before, but some of these things that these young students are doing, I am just now doing. I feel like I was left behind on some of these things because I was never asked to use any of these tools when I was in high school! I know I come from a very small school, but I believe I should have at least heard about these items! I have learned a lot from Ms. Kathy. I also have learned a lot from EDM310, I am so happy that I had to take this class! I am sure if I didn't, I wouldn't have thought about using class blogs instead of hand written journals, or podcast instead of presentations. I have taken so much from this class so far, and from Ms. Kathy! Ms. Kathy said, "Technology isn't going anywhere". We all need to get with it so we do not fall behind and get lost! It is unfair to not use and teach these advancements in the classroom! I am choosing now to always by tech-savvy and use all of the new benefits possible to help teach my students! I believe they take so much more from being able to use all aspects of technology rather than reading from their textbooks and doing the end of the chapter work with pen and paper!

Project # 10 Teacher Interview

C4Ks for October

On my first C4K assignment this month, I was assigned to Alexa. This post seemed to be just a check-in post. She was excited to tell everyone that her class blog finally had 102 followers! She was just telling us things that were going on with her class through out the week. They had a visitor named Kathy come to their classroom and teach them what foods are healthier than others, she called Ms. Kathy the Hy-Vee lady. I am not quite sure what Hy-Vee would be, but she gave them an apple, pencil, and a stress ball so I was assuming some type of nurse. She told us that her class were finished with T.N.T which stood for Today Not Tomorrow projects and they finished their presentations. They didn't have school the Monday before she wrote this post because it was a holiday. She and her classmates participated in a heart walk with a buddy. She along with her classmates were learning about run-on sentences. Alexa was proud to let us know that she finished her geometry test. She also added at the end of her post that her class had a great day in music. My response to Alexa I started out my response letting Alexa know who I was and what brought me to her blog post. I told her how excited I was that she and her classmates had 102 followers, I know they were all excited about that! I told her that we too did not have class that Monday! I explained to her that I had the whole day off because we didn't have school and I didn't have to work either! I also told her that I enjoyed seeing what she was learning in school at that time. I told her that I always wanted her to always remember what she has learned, because she will never know when she will use it later on! I went on to tell her that I was using elementary geometry right now in my fourth year of college! I then told her to keep up the good work and to always be excited about school and learning! I also told her I was glad that she enjoyed her music class and I also asked her, "What instrument do you play?". I then left her the link to my BlogSpot just in case she wanted to take a peak at it sometime! I always end by telling my C4K's thanks for sharing!!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Project # 14 PBL Lesson Plan # 2

Title: Making Healthy Choices

Duration: 250 minutes, divided amongst several days

Subject: Health

Teacher: Ms. Shanda Thornton

Grade Level: Kindergarten

Project Idea Summary: Students will determine what foods are healthy choices and why they should make better choices when it comes to the types of foods that they eat. We will have a different activity everyday to explain and teach them about the food choices they make. My students will have a power point, song video about vegetables, and you tube clip to start the project for our entrance to the subject. After we listen to the lesson, we would pull out the magazines and they would cut out five healthy foods and five unhealthy foods and glue it to their paper. We will participate in healthy food bingo for an extra activity. They will list everything they eat on a journal from Monday through Thursday. On Friday, I would have a table set up that has healthy and unhealthy snacks on it and they would have to fill their plate according to the myplate categories of healthy foods. For homework, they would make a poster on why they should choose healthy foods.

Standards: Nutrition Standard # 12 Students will be able to identify healthy foods, including snacks Recognizing the six food groups shown on myplate Identifying characteristics of various foods Examples: taste, smell, color, texture locating the nutrition facts labels on food products

materials: paper scissors glue old magazines bingo cards bingo dots computer smart board paper plates table healthy foods unhealthy foods

21st century competencies: collaboration creativity communication

Entry Events: Power Point a youtube video a music video

Formative assessment worksheets journals checklists

Summative Assessment: multiple choice test self evaluation short presentation

Reflections: Review presentations discussion Healthy Kids

Blog Post # 10

In the video Randy Pausch's Last Lecture, He tells us that motivation is key to teaching. Randy tells us his life story about how he was given only 3-6 months to live due to tumors in his liver. Randy wanted to spend his last days working to inspire and motivate others with his last lecture. In his video he discusses three main ideas.  The first thing he spoke about is how important it is to always hold on to your childhood dreams. He says, "We should never lose your childhood dreams, always take them with you when you grow older. He explains this and shows how he achieved each of his dreams and what he took from the experiences. "Experience  is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted." He tells us one of his dreams that he did achieve was to be a Disney Imagineer. When he was offered the position he was a professor  so he approached two of the Deans at the college, both of the deans told him I don't know for an answer, although one of the dean's said I don't know but tell me more. Randy goes on to explain that there is a right and wrong way to use I don't know as an answer. He also added that the walls holding us back while trying to achieve our dreams are there for us to prove how badly we want what we want. He then discusses how to enable childhood dreams of others. He created a program used to create virtual words where he had fifty students and divided into groups and given two weeks to compare complete an assignment. After the two weeks were up they were given a new group to do the same project he was blown away by the outcome. He was told by his mentors that what they did was pretty good but they could do better. He said that the advice was great because it wasn't good for the students if he sat the bar for them. He explained that he saw the achievements of his students were endless by not setting the bar. The success of that class grew and turned into a school wide experiment once a year. He has now passed his program off to someone else to control and it has grown tremendously. This achievement will be his legacy. He says he describes himself as Moses that he can see the promised land but will never get to go. He then discusses the lessons learned through all of these experiences. He says that along the road to achieving your dreams you have to be thankful for and realize what and who helped you along the way. Even if you don't realize it at the time, anyone along the way could help you. My favorite part of his lecture was when he said always remember the importance of having fun and never lose the child in you! He goes on to say that loyalty is a two way street, be honest, be earnest, never give up, always apologize when your wrong, and always remember to follow your dreams. Randy said so much with all of those words in the last two sentences. He says his lecture is not about how you achieve your dreams, its about how to lead your life and that the talk was bout for his audience but for his kids.

I think everything he said in his speech was words to live by not only for future teachers but for every one! As future educators we could take all of his advice on the road we are traveling. I think we should all follow his advice especially about always having fun and to always keep a child like passion. Another lesson would be to always be a motivator and never let students give up on their dreams!

Randy Pausch Quote

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Blog Post #9

By Group: Gainesborough
Members: Shanda Thornton, Chastity Westry, and Victoria P. Williams

We can learn a lot of new techniques and different concepts of teaching through these videos. These teachers teach us new and different ways to run our classroom using some 21st Century competencies. There is a lot to be learned through these videos.


Brian talks about the different activities that are done throughout his classroom and how he does them. He knows that students disconnect easily and for many different reasons. We were really impressed that Brian does not stereotype his classroom. He has a classroom full of lower class children and he brings his best to the classroom. He wants them to have the best learning experience and he tries his best to provide that. He introduces these children to blogging along with other class projects. Brian offers his students real life problems through these projects and that is what will prepare the students for the real world. Also, he had speakers that tied into what they were learning to come in and speak with his class. This resource could provide the students with information that won’t be found on the internet. We learned that if we involve, connect, engage, empower, and motivate students they will be more interested in learning. The projects Brian produced for his students will make them lifelong learners and thinkers. Active learning is a great way to create a learning atmosphere. He teaches his students to think outside of the box. An example was when he told the students to tell the story as if they were the balloon, this gets the students involved in a thinking process. The blogging helps the students to interact with students all over the world and show their reflections. The comments allows students to converse back and forth, this tool teaches them a lot about connecting and collaborating with other people. The comments left on the students posts from readers encourages them to keep learning and improve their work. Brian also established goals implemented in the classroom, the students created goals for themselves, school, community, and the whole world. They also received feedback from other students from all over the world which made the students more globally aware. Second, we learned about a method called blended learning.

Blended LearningPaul uses the blended learning system for his classroom. Blended learning is when you take classroom learning and mix it with online and module work. Paul basically described it with these three resources: online, mobile, and classroom. There are five “E’s” that tie into the process of blended learning, which can be helpful to learn science.The learning cycles are: engage, exploring, explaining, expanding, and evaluating. So when you mix blended learning with the learning systems, you then will have a blended learning system. Brian wants his class to ask questions and predict what will happen next. Next, the class should then be evaluated. He also talked about the power of the questioning and the power of learning. He always starts with a question that hooks the students, once you have the students hooked, they are ready and excited to learn and answer the questions. Learning cycles are very useful to get students involved in the thinking process. Also, if the students follow all of the steps to this process on their own they are more likely to take more knowledge with them to the next level. To remember the steps of the cycles, he develops acronyms. Paul’s blended learning cycle consisted of six parts, “QUIVERS” : Questions- start with a good driving question, Investigate/Inquiry- inquire about the driving question and investigate the answer or the reasons, Video- watch a video about the driving topic, Elaborate- elaborate on the topic, Review- review all of the information collected, and Summary- take a summary quiz to make sure the students understand the topic.

In the last video, Making Thinking Visible, Mark Church gets his students to talk about the puzzles in small groups in order to capture the heart of the unit. In their groups the students connect with the ideas and decide what they think it is all about. The challenge on the whole topic in general is to figure out a phrase that headlines and captures the heart of what the unit is about, The students conversed and one girl stated, “how can we sum up everything with one phrase?”. There phrase would be based on how the students interpreted the unit and connected it with what they already know to the puzzles and challenging of the stories. Later on they headline it again and see how much the headline and their interpretations of the unit have changed since the first time they discussed it.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

C4T # 2

C4T # 2 Post # 1 For my second C4T, I was assigned to Mrs. Dianne P Krause, I read her most recent blog that was posted on September 19th. The title of the post was “What is your digital footprint? She goes on to explain what a digital footprint is. Which is the trail or traces people leave online. At the bottom of her post she adds tags and her favorite links. It was a very short post but it said so much. Comment # 1 When I commented to Mrs. Krause, I explained to her who I was and why I was here. I then admired her for her ability to say so much in such a small post. I told her when I asked myself the question in her title that I then ask myself would I want someone to see my digital footprints? These footprints can tend to trace back to years and years before. I think that most people don’t think twice about what they do online. In this day in time, I have heard that you can lose your job over a simple opinionated face book post. I told her also that I liked that she added tags and links at the bottom. C4T Post # 2 For my second C4T post to Mrs. Krause, I read “Daily Digital Discoveries”. In this Blog Post, Mrs. Krause told her blog readers about three free sites that gave teachers ideas, and games for their students. Comment # 2 I told Mrs. Krause that I was so excited that I got assigned to her blog this time! She put many helpful free sites on her blog post that I probably would not have heard about if it weren't for being assigned to her blog for my C4T. I made sure to tell her thanks for sharing her information! I also liked that they were all free sites! With funding cuts, teachers are not always lucky to receive money to spend on their classroom and students. Teachers are normally spending their own money to maintain their classrooms so these free and effective sites would be very helpful! Finally I read about all of the sites she posted and I saved all of them for later use! They all seemed so useful in helping teachers use technology to their benefit in the classroom. This is her blog spot, everyone interested should check this out!

Project # 9 Podcast

Project # 9 Podcast

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Blog Post # 8

by: Shanda Thornton

I looked over a few different learning sites, and found a few different ones, but Flocabulary just kept jumping out at me. Flocabulary is partnered with and Pearson and currently working on new content for common core ELA. It is $63/year, but I believe would be well worth that price! I just signed up for the free trial, so that I could explore more of the products this site has to offer.
Flocabulary has an online library of songs, videos, and activities for grades k-12. Teachers use Flocabulary to supplement their instruction and engage their students.
The word up projects teaches interdisciplinary tier 2 words to boost reading skills across the curriculum. It engages, standard aligned content for students of all ages.
It offers videos, exercises, games, and quizzes that provide a comprehensive resource for direct vocabulary instruction. it has hip hop songs, videos, and lessons for every subject!

It offers products for Language Arts, Math, The Week in Rap, Social Studies, Science.
It also has an award-winning vocabulary program and features a weekly current events video.
Flocabulary presents academic content in a highly-engaging, contemporary format. It says that the site lets the topic speak for itself, providing students with both visual and aural exposure. And videos aren’t only for introducing new topics; use them to review and provide ongoing enrichment as well. You can play and pause the video while discussing the lyrics, which are visible below the video and also available as a printable PDF. Click on key lyrics to bring up an information box, which takes the topic further and provides opportunity for a more in-depth discussion. As a class, in groups, or individually, students can hone in on specific details and review key points from the song in a flashcard format.
The founders have diverse backgrounds but with a common goal of increasing student motivation and achievement.
I would absolutely use this site in my classroom! I love music and I always could learn stuff better if I could turn it into a song! I think most kids are like that, and with this site they get songs and interactive games to help them learn and remember about lessons of any subject!
Check it out! It’s this generations version of schoolhouse rock!

By. Chastity Westry
A 21st Century learning and communicating tool I will use with my students is the iClicker. The iClicker is an audience response system that enables participants and presenters to interact dynamically through question and answer polling in various group settings. It reduces the burden of technical difficulties and maximizes the benefit of learning with the technology. The iClicker remote has basic features that can be easily operated by any grade level. The remote has a simple six button design, easy for students to power up and make their decisions. Next, they are small, lightweight, and portable with a durable design built to last.  This tool allows teachers and students to make real-time decisions about academic progress. I will use this tool along with power point or other presentation programs with my students. Since I will be working with Kindergartners, we will be using this to play matching games on a LCD screen for learning the alphabet and numbers. This learning and communicating tool can be accessed through an iPad, iClicker remote, computers, or any device with internet access. Two benefits that I expect from this tool is making learning more informative and enjoyable. I chose this particular tool because I think it will be very effective in the learning process in the classroom. The iClicker tool will develop better collaboration and communication skills upon my students. Also, when using this tool and pairing students into groups, it can create competition and encourage the students to want to do better in their work. I believe that the iClicker will keep the students engaged and encourage them to learn more. The iClicker is an essential presentation tool that increases engagement and understanding. This tool will keep your students learning experience front and center. Today, as a Junior at the University of South Alabama, I am currently using the iClicker in my lecture classes and I am sure it will be a great effective learning tool for my future classroom.

After reading my assignment for post eight, I knew exactly where I could find learning and communicating tools. I referred back to my PLN, Symbaloo. This site has tons of useful tools that I am in the process of locating and preparing. I will use these tools in my future classroom.

I found this tool on Symbaloo and it is called Scholastic. The Scholastic site has tons of great learning resources that I will need for my second grade classroom. To use this site you  need to create an account as either a teacher, parent, first administrator, or librarian. Some of the resources listed on the homepage are as follows: Resource and Tools, Strategies & Idea , Student Activities, Book & Authors, and a shop for teachers to buy products. I chose to use this site because of all the resources that it has to offer me.

The Resource and Tools tab contains lots of useful tools that I will use in my future classroom. The most useful thing for me was the hands on lesson plans. The lesson plans are designed for certain grade levels and contain a project overview, objective, lesson plan for the unit, culminating activities, duraliation for the project, and the subjects being covered. I would use this site mostly to gather creative lesson plan ideas but there are also other useful resources offered through this site. There are Common Core instructional material and programs. The Everything you Need link is perfect for looking up activities for the whole month. The Tools tab has a variety of technology tools to make things for the classroom such as: graphic organizers, rubric makers, flash card maker and a spelling wizard.  This site also offers printables, planning calendar, and daily starters. I would recommend this site to any teacher.

By: Victoria Williams